Orbcomm Grows its M2M and IoT Leadership Position

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Orbcomm Grows its M2M and IoT Leadership Position

There are tremendous similarities in the satellite connectivity market and consumer broadband spaces. Hear me out… In the latter market, companies have looked for differentiation in a world where dumb pipes are said to offer little distinction as once-specialized services become commoditized. Comcast is a great example of a company which has moved from broadband to content as they now own NBC Universal and a number of smaller content sites like DailyCandy.

This move is echoed in the satellite space… Orbcomm, for example, has spent a good amount of time converting itself from a connectivity provider to one which sells solutions. To be fair, this is the same thing IBM has done as it has embraced the consulting space – likewise for HP and Dell. In the case of Orbcomm, the company purchased Skywave late last year for $130. Doug Mohney wrote on TMC’s IoT Evolution that the merger will give ORBCOMM complementary products to its lower data-rate, low Earth Orbit satellite networks and a deeper relationship with Inmarsat and its network of geostationary satellites. He continued, “It will give ORBCOM a new sales and marketing footprint in Eastern Europe and Asian markets.” On TMC’s sister site TechZone360, Paula Bernier pointed out the deal brings valuable engineering talent and robust distribution channels in Asia, the Middle East, and South America to ORBCOMM.

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I just spoke with company CEO Marc Eisenberg who went over a plethora of new product launches from last week:

  • ORBCOMMconnect - a subscriber and device management portal which gives customers complete control over their wireless services and connected devices, while reducing the complexity of managing and integrating multiple connectivity offerings.
  • ORBCOMM Enterprise Connect - a new turnkey wireless backup offering for customers big and small across many new industries including retail stores, financial institutions and restaurants that leverages Cisco hardware, Verizon network and ORBCOMM software.
  • ORBCOMMmobile - an advanced mobile application for both Apple and Android devices.

Marc said the company allows its customers to remotely change temperatures on its tucks. They allow WalMart to monitor vehicles over the air – they can see how many trucks are in the yard, whether they are fueled, diagnostics info and much more.

He said Doosan uses them as part of their three-year warranty on engines – allowing them to know when a filter needs to be changed – which he pointed out is much cheaper than a new engine.

In terms of differentiation – he says they are unique… They sell a mix of terrestrial and satellite connectivity and give their customers access to virtually all networks such as T-Mobile, Verizon and others. When asked about how he steers a customer to one carrier or another – he replied, they do not, they allow customers to determine which carrier they want access to.

With 465 people and 220 engineers, they believe they are the largest force in M2M. In terms of the fear of disruptive new technologies such as drone broadband or small satellites, Marc answered as new and innovative solutions such as these arise, his company will continue to partner and provide best-of-breed solutions to their customers in a complete package. The answer just reinforced the move from connectivity services to overall solutions permeating not just satellite but all broadband players.



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